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Edward Everett Horton
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W.S. Van Dyke,
Robert Z. Leonard
John Carteret has long been depressed and lonely, because, at his wedding years ago, his bride, Moonyean, was murdered. He accepts into his house Kathleen, the 5 year old orphaned niece of Moonyean, and she quickly grows up to look just like her aunt. Kathleen meets and falls in love with a mysterious stranger from America, Kenneth Wayne. When John hears of this he is furious, and we learn that it was Kenneth's father, Jeremy, who had killed Moonyean years before. John carries his grudge against Jeremy to the new generation, and threatens to ruin his niece's happiness, but he softens in the end. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jeanette MacDonald stars in "Smilin' Through," a 1941 remake of the Norma Shearer-Leslie Howard movie. Besides MacDonald, the film stars Brian Aherne and MacDonald's real-life husband, Gene Raymond.
MacDonald and Raymond play dual roles. Brian Aherne plays the lonely Sir John Carteret, whose wife, Moonyean (MacDonald) was killed at their wedding by a jealous suitor, Jeremy Wayne (Raymond). Each year, he goes to the spot where they were married and sees a vision of her. Cartaret takes in his young niece, who grows up as MacDonald and falls for Kenneth Wayne, Jeremy's son, also Raymond. The bitter Sir John implores her not to see Kenneth again. The story stretches into World War II.
MacDonald is just beautiful in this color film, and she's in great voice. Aherne was underrated in Hollywood, probably too similar to Errol Flynn, but he's very good as usual. It's a shame he never got a real breakthrough role. I've never been very impressed with Gene Raymond.
The story is sweet and sentimental, a real tear-jerker, with some lovely music sung by MacDonald. The period scenes and costumes are opulent. Worth seeing.
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